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Pens-Leafs Preview

Tuesday, 11.26.2013 / 3:39 PM / Features
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Pens-Leafs Preview
The Pens host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thanksgiving Eve. Preview here.

PENGUINS (15-9-1) vs. MAPLE LEAFS (14-9-1)

  WHEN: November 27, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.  |  WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
WATCH: ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins Radio 24/7, 105.9 FM

Last 10: Toronto 4-5-1; Pittsburgh 4-5-1

Season series: This is the second of three meetings between the teams. Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer stopped 37 of 38 shots faced in a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 26 at Air Canada Centre.

Big story: Toronto will be without injured forward Joffrey Lupul when it visits Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving Eve in the U.S. The teams are separated by two points in the Eastern Conference standings.

Team scope:

Maple Leafs: In six wins this season, Reimer has given up a combined eight goals on 240 shots. But the 25-year-old's fortunes took a turn for the worse Monday.

Reimer allowed six goals on 21 shots faced as the Blue Jackets handed the Maple Leafs a 6-0 loss, Toronto's most lopsided defeat of the season.

"I don't really have much to say, don't really have much to offer," Reimer said. "It just wasn't my night. You'll have nights like that where the puck just eludes you. As hard as you work and as much as you try and bear down, it just doesn't work out sometimes."

To make matters worse, Lupul left the game in the second period and did not return after sustaining a groin injury. The Maple Leafs welcomed back Tyler Bozak to the lineup, but only generated 18 shots in the loss. It remains to be seen whether the Leafs will turn to Jonathan Bernier against the Penguins.

Penguins: Pittsburgh, 10-3-0 at home, returns to CONSOL Energy Center after a disappointing two-game road swing in Montreal and Boston. But despite earning only one of a possible four points on the trip, the Penguins refused to go quietly in each game.

The Penguins scored two third-period goals to narrow their deficit Saturday in a 3-2 loss and got a clutch goal from Sidney Crosby on Monday with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to force overtime what ended up a 4-3 defeat. Pittsburgh won the shot battle in both contests (31 to 29 vs. Montreal; 31 to 24 vs. Boston) but was unable to break through.

"Sid buried that one with a second left, so that's huge going into OT," forward James Neal told NHL.com. "We thought we deserved a little better, but we can't keep saying that; we got to do it."

Who's hot: After not recording a point over his first eight games, Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has four over his past six. … Neal, who started the season with one goal over his first six games, has five goals during his current four-game point streak for the Penguins.

Injury report:
Lupul is not making the trip to Pittsburgh and is expected to miss at least three games. Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland (ankle) remains out indefinitely. … Penguins winger Beau Bennett will miss 8-10 weeks after undergoing wrist/hand surgery this week. Defenseman Paul Martin (lower body) and forward Tanner Glass (broken hand) are also out of the lineup. Goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot in hip), forward Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) and forward Chuck Kobasew (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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